7 Sweet Valentines Stops on the South Shore
In the second month of the year, often considered to be the last month of winter we celebrate African Heritage Month, Nova Scotia Heritage Day, Groundhog Day and Valentine’s Day. All reasons to explore the Shore and experience what is here, in your backyard.
Darcy Rhyno is sweet on the South Shore, calls it home and explores all it has to offer. He’s given us a must-do list featuring…
7 Sweet Valentines Stops on the South Shore
“Sweets and sweeties are made for each other on Valentine’s Day. A box of chocolates, a bouquet of sweetly fragrant flowers, a sappy card are all typical gifts of love. But things are done a little differently on the South Shore where maple rum, bacon jam and stout cake say as much as traditional treats. Tag along on this trip down the South Shore with stops at seven standout sweet spots for you and your sweetie this Valentine’s week.
At the Acadian Maple Products’ outlet in Upper Tantallon, sweeties can browse among the gallons of pure maple syrup in every size imaginable. Did you know maple syrup comes in grades? They’re based on the amount of light that transmits through the syrup. From extra light “Golden” that approaches 100% on to “Amber” and “Dark” to the richest “Very Dark” that lets almost no light through, there’s a maple grade to please every palette. But there’s more than syrop at this sweet stop, including shelves of Authentic Seacoast spirits like Sea Fever Coffee Maple Rum.
Chester’s Café in, yes, Chester is home to one of the South Shore’s most tempting dessert cases. Stop in to sample Julien’s pastries, sweet treats renowned in Nova Scotia for their quality. My favourite is the almond croissant, which goes great with a cup of the café’s cappuccino. As an alternative to dining in, an assorted box makes a special take-home gift for the sweetie waiting for you there. Fill the box with egg tarts, blueberry squares, oatcakes, pan au chocolat, raspberry almond twists or any number of temptations looking up at you from that case of sweet riches.
Lunenburg Rum Cakes is known for, what else, their moist and delicious rum cakes. While one of these vanilla, rum flavoured cakes makes a perfect gift for your sweetie, they also have a Valentine’s chocolate box ready to go. Bonus – their selection of flavoured chocolate bark is just as tempting. Orders are delivered in the towns of Bridgewater, Mahone Bay and Lunenburg each Friday or shipped via Canada Post. Alternatively, pick up in Bridgewater can be arranged.
Pop into The Biscuit Eater in Mahone Bay to – what else – eat biscuits. The popular café and bookshop offers a simple and comforting tea with buttermilk biscuits (or scones) with cream and preserves. But hang on, it’s Valentine’s Day. Why not go big, all the way up to the Royal Tea. And that’s how you’ll feel – like royalty – when the chef’s personal selection of soup shooters, teacup salads, tiny sandwiches and pastries arrives with endless tea and bottomless coffee followed by mini tea cakes and truffles. Take away a dozen or half dozen flavoured scones from the Scone Shop (remember to order ahead) or a Bakery Box selection of cookies, bars, pastries and confections.
Riffing on the name of the Five Guys burger chain, Five Girls Baking in Liverpool is a family affair. They make heavenly leavened goods from rustic loaves to delicate sweets. The girls and their families recently relocated from the west coast where they ran a similar shop to the east coast where they saw a need for a good, local bakery. Although the shop stocks far more than baked goods, it’s the small-batch cookies, butter tarts, scones, Danishes and cinnamon buns that make it a Valentine’s Day stand out. Keep in mind that the shop is typically closed on weekends, so order ahead online for Friday take home.
Stop by the Boxing Rock Brewing taproom on Water Street in Shelburne for a pint paired with one of the kitchen’s desserts like peanut butter chocolate cake and Sunken Ledge Porter. And then there’s bacon jam. Combining everyone’s favourite savoury flavour with the sweetness of sugared preservers, there can’t be any more decadent sweet treat than bacon jam. It’s the perfect balance of sweet – one of the four basic tastes – and umami, that additional sensory pleasure of the taste buds introduced from Japan. Boxing Rock suggests trying bacon jam with goat cheese and crackers or as a condiment on a hamburger. Try it on toast for a truly original take on a traditional bacon and egg breakfast.
Speaking of beer, Capt. Kat’s Lobster Shack serves one of the most decadent beer-based desserts on the planet, and they do so with their signature sense of humour and love of great food. A hunk of Mrs. Swaine’s Guinness Cake with its dark chocolate base, cream cheese filling and ganache, whipped cream topping will enlighten all takers to the pleasures of pairing chocolate and a dark beer like Guinness stout. The Shack quotes the infamous Ozzy Osbourne on his reason to tuck into their most popular dessert: “A Guinness a day keeps the doctor away.”
Hope you’ll enjoy this 7 Sweet Valentines Stops
A sweet thank you to Darcy for sharing these 7 Sweet Valentines Stops.
We know you’ll be tempted to pop into each of them and more as you visit Nova Scotia’s South Shore! We’ll sea you when you get here!